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ARCHIVED - CEPA Annual Report for Period April 2001 to March 2002

Message from the Minister

I am pleased to provide Canadians with the Government of Canada's Annual Report on the administration of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), for the reporting period April 2001 to March 2002. The goal of the Act, which came into force on March 31, 2000, is to contribute to sustainable development through pollution prevention, and to protect the environment, human life and health from the risks associated with toxic substances, pollutants, and wastes. This reporting period's achievements underscore the value and effectiveness of CEPA 1999 in helping Environment Canada meet its environmental and human health commitments, and I am pleased to share these achievements with you.

In 2000-2001, the first year of implementing CEPA 1999, Environment Canada demonstrated early successes, such as international actions and the completion of a long-term agenda for cleaner vehicles and fuels. During that period, the Department's attention was focused on laying the foundation for the future, by putting in place the policies and guidelines that would enable us to access the full range of CEPA 1999 tools.

This second year of implementation, 2001-2002, clearly demonstrated that we are meeting our environmental protection goals, and that CEPA 1999 is a powerful law for use in the attainment of those goals. The report illustrates the progress we have made in meeting CEPA 1999's new requirements and timelines for assessing the risk of substances in Canada. Extensive research and monitoring studies continued to address departmental priorities, such as endocrine-disrupting substances and air quality. Environment Canada is well on its way to categorizing all 23 000 substances in Canadian commerce. In fact, this year we published ecological data for 12 000 of those substances.

The report highlights the many measures we have taken to manage toxic substances and other substances of concern. Some of CEPA 1999's new tools were used for the first time during this reporting period, including environmental protection alternative measures for enforcement. I am pleased to advise you that during the 2001-2002 reporting period, five regulations were proposed in the Canada Gazette, Part I; five were finalized and published in the Canada Gazette, Part II; and nine others were in earlier stages of development.

This report also emphasizes the importance of collaboration with other countries, all government jurisdictions, industry and non-governmental organizations. We have made significant progress toward meeting our commitments under the Ozone Annex to the Canada-United States Air Quality Agreement, and partnerships in the scientific community allow us to pool our resources and advance our research agenda. The federal government and the provinces have joined together in implementing Canada-wide Standards that will improve the quality of our air and protect Canadians from toxic substances. Through commitments made by industry, the implementation of voluntary approaches - such as environmental performance agreements as alternatives to regulation - will bring efficient and significant environmental results.

For further information on actions being taken under CEPA 1999, and to find ways to become part of the solution, I encourage all Canadians to consult the CEPA Environmental Registry on Environment Canada's Web site.

Signature

The Honourable David Anderson, M.P., P.C.
Minister of the Environment

Minister's Message